Gold mining in NSW
Gold mining is having a devastating impact at several large NSW mines, such as the massive Barrick Gold owned Lake Cowal Gold mine located in a stunning wetland environment in western NSW, and the huge Cadia gold mine near the western NSW town of Orange that is consuming local water and energy resources at a phenomenal rate. The Greens are concerned that weak regulation and poor environmental outcomes will rob future generations of precious lands and water resources.
NSW is Australia's second largest gold producer, after Western Australia, and reached an all-time high of 30 tonnes in 2005, worth $540 million. In 2006-07, this figure grew to $842 million. 
Key Gold Mines in NSW:
- Northparkes - 27km NW of Parkes
- Ridgeway - 20km SW of Orange
- Cadia - 21km SSW of Orange
- Peak Gold Mine - Cobar
- Cowal - 45km NE of West Wyalong.
Cadia Hill Gold Mine is the largest open pit gold mine in NSW and Ridgeway Gold Mine is the third largest underground mine in Australia. With an annual production level of around 615,000 ounces of gold and 60,000 tonnes of copper, Cadia Valley Operations is the second largest gold producing site in Australia.
Cadia Valley Operations’ landholdings in the Cadia district include 1500 hectares of active Mining Lease Area surrounded by around 8,000 hectares of buffer zone. It is situated in prime agricultural country.
Some figures from Cadia Hill mining operation:
- Over the life of the mine, 466 million tonnes of material will be mined. This will consist of 204 million tonnes of ore and 262 million tonnes of waste rock.
- 17Mtpa gold/copper ore producing an average of 293,000 oz pa gold and an average 23,000 tpa of copper metal
- 17Mtpa of solids piped to onsite tailings dam, covering 535 hectares with a wall height of 95 metres.
Ridgeway Deeps is expected to produce more than 2.8 million ounces of gold equivalent (1.6 million ounces of gold and 210,000 tonnes of copper) over an expected mine life of 12 years. That compares with previous reserve estimates of 1.3 million ounces of gold and 150,000 tonnes of copper.
Cadia East is based on a 43 million-ounce gold equivalent resource base, of which 29 million ounces will be mined using the block cave method.
Follow this link to read about the environmental impacts of gold mining
 ABS Mining commodities: http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/8415.02006-07?OpenDocument
- Hunter health data review reveals a better study needed
- Greens MP and Hunter spokesperson Lee Rhiannon said today’s report by NSW Health analysing existing health data for the Hunter region draws some worrying conclusions and underlines the need for a comprehensive, independent population health study and better pollution monitoring and prosecuting systems for the coal and power industries.
- New Orange mega gold mine guzzles electricity not just water
- Calculations by the Greens NSW show that the proposed $2 billion Cadia East gold mine at Orange will have high energy needs, not just water requirements. The new mine will use 1.6 percent of all energy consumed in NSW and the ACT, an enormous amount for a single project. This energy will be purchased at a wholesale price.
- Greens reject water assurances of Cadia East Goldmine
- The Greens are opposed to this massive expansion of the Cadia gold mine, because it poses an unacceptable threat to Orange's future water security. Lee Rhiannon will question Cadia staff about the planned expansion and its plans for water and risk management. The Cadia Gold mine is founded on the business premise that it will drain local water resources, risk the future viability of aquifers and groundwater, and leave a lasting legacy of toxic contaminated tailings ponds.
- Blockade and Walk-on at the Barrick Gold mine, Lake Cowal
- On Sunday 12th April 2009, 50 young protesters assembled around Wiradjuri elder, Uncle Chappy Williams and his Wiradjuri comrades, Les and Carole Glass-Pattison, outside the rear gate of the mine. There they conducted a smoking ceremony and, followed by 28 protesters, they climbed over the gate, brushed past the Mine security and their rolling cameras and walked upon the vast, bruised and desolate landscape of the mine site. Lock down for Barrick Gold!
- Protesters at Lake Cowal gold mine occupation congratulated
- Greens MP and mining spokesperson Lee Rhiannon has congratulated the Wiradjuri traditional owners and their supporters who engaged in a non-violent direct action protest at Barrick Gold's Lake Cowal mine operation in central western New South Wales over the Easter weekend.
- Labor digs in as mining companies dig up
- Greens MP and donations spokesperson Lee Rhiannon says new data released today by the Australian Electoral Commission for 2007/2008 shows that mining companies and developers operating in the Hunter have been generous donors to the Labor Party.
- Mining NSW
- Cadia Valley Operations is regarded as Australia's largest underground mine, and could be expanded by about 50%, requiring a new gas fired power station to be built - Bruce Reynolds ABC News, 1 Sep 2008